Want to dress vintage like the good dancers you see out? Here are some resources to help you get that vintage swing dancer look. Guys, stay away from loud Zoot Suits. That might work in some areas of the country but in So. Cal. that is a dead giveaway for a wannabe swing dancer, to be avoided at all costs. The cool swing dancers wear authentic vintage clothing (or new clothing designed to copy authentic vintage designs) from the 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s. The 50’s rockabilly look can work well for certain events. Here are some links to help you get that vintage look that you’ve been looking for. Tell them you found them on SwingDance.LA!
For shoes, check out my beginner’s guide to shoes for Swing dancing!
L.A./O.C. Vintage Clothing Stores
An alarming number of vintage clothing stores have folded in recent years due to increasing rents and gentrification. Some have moved to online-only sales. Let’s support the brick-and-mortar vintage stores that are still around!
Some of these have true vintage clothing, while others are modern reproductions inspired by vintage styles.
- Audrey K Boutique in Burbank has vintage-inspired shoes and clothing for women.
- Crash the Party Vintage in Whittier specializes in clothing from the 1940’s and 50’s. They also have an Etsy store.
- Elsewhere Vintage is the sister store to Joyride in the Orange circle. “Great prices and service”, reader Linda reports.
- Iguana Vintage Clothing has locations in Hollywood, North Hollywood, and Sherman Oaks.
- Joyride Vintage for Men – Highly recommended vintage clothing store in Old Town Orange!
- Meow Vintage – Vintage clothing store in Long Beach.
- Paper Moon Vintage – I read some great reviews of this place, on Hollywood Blvd.
- Playclothes Vintage – Vintage clothing in Burbank!
- Rag Mopp Vintage – Vintage clothing on Sunset Blvd in Silverlake.
- Reese’s Vintage Pieces – Not really a store, but you can schedule a viewing of Benny Reese’s extensive vintage clothing collection for sale.
- Re-mix Classic Vintage Footware – Great vintage shoes, located right here in L.A. on Beverly Blvd not far from The Grove! Women tell me this place has the most comfortable, most stylish Swing dancing shoes around (although they are pricey).
- Unique Vintage – Has a good selection of 20s/30s flapper dresses as well as pinup dresses. They have a store in Burbank!
Here’s an article about vintage clothing stores in Long Beach.
Online Vintage Clothing Stores
- Bandini St. Etsy – Swing-themed headbands, flowers, and accessories, hand-made in Los Angeles! SwingDance.LA Pick!
- Cats Like Us – Online vintage clothing based in New York.
- dancestore.com – Online Swing dance shoe store for men and women. This is the place to go for Swing dancing shoes. Return policy is good if anything doesn’t fit. A friend personally recommended this store to me. SwingDance.LA Pick!
- House of Foxy – This is a UK-based online store with a delightful selection of 1930’s through 1950’s styled women’s dresses. Very authentic-looking. They do deliver worldwide.
- Lindy Bop – Modern recreations of vintage styles. Based in the UK, but they ship to the U.S.
- Loco Lindo – Vintage inspired clothing for women. Looks like they have some nice dresses for swing dancing!
- Rare Revival Vintage – Great authentic women’s vintage clothing perfect for wearing out to your next Swing dance event. Run by my friend and frequent Swing dancer, Christina Coffey.
- Pinup Girl Clothing – More “pinup” than “Swing”, but interesting.
- Smokin’ Gun Vintage – My friend and frequent Swing dancer Christina runs this Etsy store featuring “mid-century modern, Art-Deco, rock ‘n roll, and mod” fashions! Check it out if you want something cool to wear when you go Swing dancing! SwingDance.LA Pick!
- Stacy Adams – Has men’s dress shoes that can be used for Swing dancing.
- SwingGear.co.uk – Has Swing dancing shoes for men and women. Based in the UK.
- Tarantula Clothing Company – Based in San Pedro, this online clothing company specializes in looks from the 40’s and 50’s.
- Tatyana Boutique – Has NEW designs in a vintage style!
- Vintage Martini – Online only, but has a good selection. Based in Texas.
- Wear it Again Sam – Has a good selection of items (and a great name). Based in San Diego, but online Etsy store only.
- Hey Mister Jesse Podcast – long-running podcast about Swing music.
- Live Collegiate Shag music on Bandcamp – this site has Shag music selected by local dancer Kendall Roderick.
- Rockstep Radio – Online radio station with music for Swing dancers!
- Swungover – Has a great guide to men’s vintage haircuts.
- Women’s Swing Dance Shoe Hunt – The Lindy Loft started a Facebook group solely (no pun intended) dedicated to women’s Swing dance shoes.
- Retro Christmas Cards – Vintage Christmas cards and cards for other occasions.
- Vintage portrait photography – Get black and white headshots exactly how they looked in the 1930’s!
- What Kate Did is an online vintage lingerie store based in the UK.
- Dave Welch’s Flickr Page – Oh my goodness, it’s hard to find a more complete and better collection of LA Swing dance photos than here.
- Steve Hwan’s Photography Blog – Tips on photographing swing dancers!
Please leave a comment below if you know of another resource that I’ve missed! I’ll be happy to add it to this list! Thanks! – Brian